Daft old casual chauvinist, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, made a visit to the Cutty Sark wreckage in Greenwich Dock (originally posted by Londonista M@ here) on Tuesday and declared the devastation of one of London’s most important hertitage sites as, “A Bloody Shame”.
Although it is easy to make light of such a throwaway soundbite, and we will, it must be pointed out that Prince Philip is the President of the Cutty Sark Trust and has, by all accounts, played a major part in the ongoing restoration of this historical treasure. He actually helped form the Cutty Sark Society in 1951 and accompanied the Queen when she opened the ship to the public in 1957. Who'd have thought it!
On a more sombre note, police are at present still none the wiser in finding a cause or motive in relation to the start of the fire with all forensic tests so far proving inconclusive. CCTV images are being studied at present and there is an appeal to the public to come forward if they have any information. If you were in the area at that time on Monday, or if you have any potential leads, please contact Greenwich CID on 020 8284 9416.
It is thought at present that the damage is expected to add millions to the final restoration bill and will almost certainly delay the public reopening date in 2009. So far the public has been very generous and individual donors have already pledged sums in the hundreds of thousands. If you would like to donate to the fund please go here, it’s very heartening to read the comments of the donators, highlighting the importance of the ship as one of London’s Cultural Landmarks.